Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Davies Gate Sugar Plum

We all know that I LOVE sweet scented bath and body products. However, at some point in my life, I have to begin to grow up and find something more sophisticated to use. Well, I am not even near that point yet in my life but somehow I have managed to find a product line that sweet and foody yet more grown up than marshmallows and cupcakes. I am referring to the Sugar Plum scent from the bath and body line Davies Gate.

This scent is mixture of plums, peaches, and sweet vanilla. This vanilla is more a sweet frosting type sent than a plain vanilla. I love this scent and it manages to make me happy every single time that I use it. This honor used to belong to Jaqua’s Buttercream Frosting but I now prefer Sugar Plum because it is much more unique and I have yet to find any other product that smells very much like it. I had originally been told that this product line was only to be out for Holiday 2006 but I have to assume that it was a big seller because it is still out and on the store shelves.

This line comes in a bunch of different products with my favorites being the Soothing Shower Gel and the Moisturizing Body Glow. The Soothing Shower Gel foams up well, rinses clean, and also doesn’t strip my skin and dry it out in the winter months. It contains Vitamins A and E and also certified botanical and organic extracts to help hydrate and protect the skin. The Moisturizing Body Glow is hydrating and nourishing to the skin. The description of this product also states that with repeated use, this product will bring a healthy glow and sheen to the skin. I haven’t used this product enough times in a row to notice this effect but at some point, I might try to find out if this is true. This product contains powerful moisturizers and certified organic botanicals to hydrate and protect.

This line also comes in hand cream, a sugar soak, bath bombs, body lotion, and sheer lip gloss. I have the hand cream and the body lotion but have not yet opened them up. I have also used the bath bomb and was not all that impressed with the quality of the bath that I took (LUSH are better in my opinion). Still this scent is now among one of my favorites and is one that will continue to be as I age gracefully (or find a good plastic surgeon).

photo courtesy of Davies Gate

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fekkai Protein Rx

Well, it has finally happened! I have found a line of hair products that smell like vanilla cupcakes and allow me to smell like dessert from head to toe. Normally, I am not really a fan of the Fekkai products (with a couple of exceptions) but I really liked the scent of the of the Protein Rx and ended up buying it for the scent alone. Well that’s great but then I got it home and realized that at some point I will actually have to use the products instead of just sniffing them so I should actually see how this line works and what it is supposed to accomplish.

According to the Fekkai company, this line is called Protein Rx because it is supposed to act like a prescription to help dry, damaged hair. The all white, clinical looking packaging is designed to reflect that this group of products is for serious hair care issues and is made to be intensive treatments. This line carries a series of products but I only purchased the shampoo, conditioner, and the mask.

The shampoo contains a complex of soy and milk proteins that is exclusive to this product. This restores and reinforces hair, preventing future breakage and leaving hair stronger and more manageable. First thought - hair is dead so it cannot be restored! It can be hydrated and nourished but no product on the market can bring it “back to life”. Already the claims of this product are inaccurate. The conditioner is supposed to do the same function and continue the benefits provided by the shampoo. The treatment mask is more intense version of the above mentioned products.

Using this combination of products did help to hydrate my hair and make it much softer. I also think the breakage that I usually experience has been somewhat lessened. However, it has not “brought my life back to life”, it is dead and will remain that way for the rest of my time using this line. The major drawback of these products (other than the insane claims) is that it does leave a build up on my hair so I have found that I have to alternate using these products with another type of shampoo and conditioner. The best part…my hair smells like cupcakes…

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, December 29, 2008

As 2008 Draws To A Close...

The year is now drawing to a rapid close and it is soon time to start looking at the trends for this spring and the new makeup collections that will be coming out shortly. It is now time for me to quickly look back on the year of 2008 and my favorite beauty related things from it.

Favorite new products…
- Chanel Blue Satin Nail Polish
- Cargo Texas Lash Mascara
- MAC Dazzleglasses (all shades)
- Chloe Chloe
- Dylan’s Candy Bar Chocolate Cupcake products
- Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara

Favorite beauty related moments…
- The return of deep red lips.
- My re-discovery of the MAC counter.
- The beginning of ordering from etailers.
- My birthday shopping spree at LUSH.
- My first purchase of false eye lashes.
- Getting a smoky eye look right.
- Finally buying the NARS No.3 Brush (can’t live without).
- Starting this blog!

Beauty Resolution of 2009...
- I will get those false eye lashes to look amazing.
- I will get liquid eye liner to work for me.
- Try and use down my massive collection of ancient Bath and Body Works products.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

MAC Dame Edna

More MAC! I heard about the Dame Edna line several months ago on a Makeup Alley board but somehow managed to forget about it in all the hype surrounding Hello Kitty. But it is up and on the site and should be out in stores right now too. My first thought when hearing about this new line was “Who wants to look like Dame Edna? This could be very scary.” Now that I can look at it? One word sums it up…Why? Really MAC, Why? Blue eye shadow and bright lipstick are quite the combination and manage to make me slightly ill.

To be fair, let’s have the description from the MAC website, “”Hallo Possums!” As mirthfully minx-like and tongue-in-cheek as her dazzling persona, Dame Edna’s eponymous limited-edition colour collection reveals the wit of her makeup passions…like out muse, it’s spectacular”!”

Dame Edna: Royal Tour Eye Trio - A set of three eye shadows in an over the top mauve compact featuring holographic stars and Dame Edna’s iconic spectacles in sparkling red glitter. This compact features two new limited-edition shades: Dame’s Desire and Royal Tour with the bring-back Climate Blue.

Dame Edna: Wisteria Eye Trio - A set of three eye shadows in an over the top mauve compact featuring holographic stars and Dame Edna’s iconic spectacles in sparkling red glitter. Features two new limited-edition shades: Wisteria and Divine Night with bring-back Fineshine

Dame Edna Lipstick - Limited-edition shades of Lipstick in over-the-top mauve casing featuring holographic stars and Dame Edna’s iconic spectacles in sparkling red glitter
- Kanga Rouge - creamy dark blue red
- Coral Polyp - creamy mid-tone coral
- Gladiola - matte mid-tone blue pink

Dame Edna Lipglass - Limited-edition shades of lipglass in a glass vial with an over-the-top mauve cap featuring holographic stars and Dame Edna’s iconic spectacles in sparkling red glitter.
- Splendid - frosted pale pinky coral
- Hot Frost - sheer mid-tone blue pink with multidimensional pearl
- Possum Nose Pink - sheer bright coral with multidimensional pearl

Dame Edna High-Light Powder - A high-light powder in an over-the-top mauve compact featuring holographic stars and Dame Edna’s iconic spectacles in sparkling red glitter.
- Spectacle - pale soft pink
- What a Dame! - pale clean orangey-peach

Nail Lacquer - Revolutionary new high gloss formula. Three long-wearing finishes, Cream, Sheer, and Frosted. Visibly different. Provides no-streak/no-chip finish. Contains conditioners and UV protectors.
- Varicose Violet - frosty mid-tone pinkish purple
- Asiatique - creamy classic red

Horrid, just horrid. I want NOTHING. I am glad that this collection is limited edition and hopefully it will just fade away. I think I can safely say that I dislike every single color in this collection. However, I must admit that I do find the packaging to be amusing and kinda on the cute side. But this whole collection is just a huge NO for me.

photo courtesy of MAC

Friday, December 26, 2008

Vitamin C and Awake Vital Express

As any beauty addict knows, Vitamin C is one of the most popular skin care ingredients but it can also be one of the worst offenders for the skin when it is used incorrectly. Please refer to my last entry for a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of this ingredient. I decided that after my research into this ingredient, I had to find the best product containing this ingredient on the market. Ok, best might be a stretch, but I tried to find the product that hits upon every single point that I made in my argument for the correct us of this ingredient.

The Japanese based skin care line Awake is one of the only lines that I know of that carries a facial care product with a high concentration of stabilized Vitamin C. This product is called Vital Express and can be used for a variety of uses. This product is a patented powder-to-emulsion skin treatment that contains comfrey and dog rose extracts to invigorate stressed skin and improve elasticity and firmness while creating a more youthful appearance. This product also prevents the signs of aging, while creating a more youthful appearance. This product prevents the premature signs of aging, helps in the skin’s natural ability to maintain and produce collagen, as well as improve skin clarity and radiance.

The container of this product is very important. It actually comes in four small vials. The most important part of the usage of this product is that the tip of the container cannot be touched or the whole product is considered contaminated and must thrown away. After the tip is touched, the oxidation process begins and the product would then be more harmful to the skin than helpful. So if one of the vials becomes ruined, the entire product is not ruined because there are three more vials. The vials are also dark colored so the product inside is not exposed to the direct light.

Another important feature of this product is that it is white and contains no added colors. This allows the user to see if the Vitamin C has begun to oxidize and to decide when to throw the product away.
This is what a high quality Vitamin C product looks like. And to find this product? Try Bergdorf Goodman, or Neiman Marcus, not your local Wal-Mart. That is not me being snobby, that’s me being smart with my what I decide to put on my face.

photo courtesy of

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Anti-oxidant Ingredients - Vitamin C

Most of the beauty industry touts Vitamin C as the end all in skin care and anti-oxidants. It is one of the most widely used skin care ingredients and can be one of the most effective and most damaging ingredients at the very same time. I know of many lines that make anti-aging products with this ingredient in (Murad, Awake, the Body Shop, just to name a few). I think that the only product that I own containing this ingredient is a night moisturizer from Murad. I decided to do some research on this ingredient and turned to the website smart So what did I find out?

The website and I agree that Vitamin C is one of the most widely used ingredients in skin care that this ingredient does possess definite, scientifically validated merits for wrinkle reduction and skin rejuvenation but many of the products do not actually work as they state that they will. Vitamin C can benefit the skin in two major ways. The first is that is an essential compound in the synthesis of collagen (one of the key structural proteins in the skin. Adding this ingredient to a culture of cells always increases their synthesis of collagen fibers. The second is that Vitamin C is an antioxidant and can reduce the skin damage that is caused by free radicals. The key to unlocking these two major benefits - it must be properly delivered into the skin cells.

Here are the rarely discussed barriers to unlocking the benefit of this ingredient. The first is that Vitamin C is relatively unstable and in the presence of oxygen or another oxidizing substance, it is easily converted into non useful forms. The oxidized Vitamin c not only does not help the skin but it can actually be harmful by promoting free radical formation and ultimately harming the skin. The second barrier is that the effectiveness of Vitamin C only occurs when the concentration is higher than 10%.

So what this is telling me is that many companies that use this ingredient are promoting the use of an ingredient that does nothing for the skin. So how do we tell the good from the bad? My personal snobbery insists that a drugstore product will not have the needed concentration and therefore a higher end product must be sought out in order to try to reap the benefits of this ingredient. A consumer can also look at the color of the product in order to tell how the Vitamin C will work. When the Vitamin C oxidizes, it gets a yellowish tint to it and therefore a colorless or white product must be chosen. A reputable product should not be colored in order to disguise the color that the ingredient will turn. Also this ingredient has an expiration date so that must be on the packaging. If it is not, this is not a product that you want to purchase. Also, the product will oxidize faster if it is in a clear container and is not protected from the light.

All the above evidence shows that this ingredient can work wonders if used correctly. Quite frankly, that is the rule with any skin care ingredient. If its too good to be true than it most likely is! Cheap is bad, expensive is best and above all, do your homework before you buy!

photo courtesy of Wikipeida

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Frustration - Chanel Moscou Collection

Lately I have looking forward to purchasing some new nail polish colors, but every single time that I went shopping for colors, I always ended up leaving the store empty handed. Nothing has really been popping out at me. Even Lippmann Collection polishes weren’t doing anything for me. And the search for another Ciel de Nuit? I am still coming up empty. How frustrating…

But, almost as an answer to my prayers, Chanel has released several new shades in a collection called Moscou . I saw it at and immediately went to the Chanel site to check it out. Well, so did the rest of the world! I have been trying for two entire days now to get onto this site and get a good look at these polishes but the site will stop working and I keep have to refresh page the page without any positive results. This collection will probably be sold out and off the website by the time that I can actually get onto the beauty section of the site long enough to get it correctly load. This line of polishes is only available at Chanel so I don’t even have trusty department store sites to fall back on. I am very irritated right now.

And the worst part?! There is shade called Nuit and the description from blogdorfgoodman states that it is deep navy base color with blue, green, and a small bit of fuchsia shimmer. And I can’t get it!

Hopefully there will be a second part of this post when and if I can actually get onto the Chanel website…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

MAC Chill

Well I thought that I was finished up with MAC until Hello Kitty comes out in February but I guess the company had other ideas in mind. While I was passing the counter in my local Macy*s the other day, I noticed that they had a display of a new line called Chill. The store was jam packed and I was trying to get some last minute Christmas shopping finished so I really didn’t have the time to stop and look at the colors in this collection. My initial thoughts were that this collection reminded me of skiing with all of the pale frosts in it. My second thought was that at least one company came out with a line that actually celebrated winter instead of just the holidays. Quite genius, if I loved to ski and went to Aspen every year, then I would be all over this collection. However, since I don’t, it is just another collection to me.

Here’s the collection’s description from MAC. “As the temperature drops, a new beauty barometer shows you the season’s cool new hue. Light snowflake lips of Naked Frost. Eyes sculpted in Artic Grey, warmed with deep black velvety strokes of new Penultimate Eye Liner. The season is right. Chill.

The products and hues…

Eye Shadow - Highly pigmented powder. Applies evenly, blends well.
- Artic Grey - frosted mid-tone grey
- Vellum - pale white duo chrome with violet opalescent shimmer
- Mont Black - sparkly black with multi-dimensional pearl
- Wintersky - frosty, neutral mid-tone pink
- Après-ski - matte dark brownish grey

Penultimate Eye Liner - A liquid pen-style liner that provides the ultimate precise, bold line in a rich, deep carbon black shade. Goes on fluidly, in one steady stroke, to style any fashion of eye line.
- Rapidblack - true black

41 Lash - A set of natural hair lashes that deliver a lightly dramatic length. Overlapping hairs gives a lush, luxe look.

Glitter - MAC Glitter can be applied directly to the skin or combined with products to create a high-level glitter and sparkle effects on all areas of the face, skin, and hair.
- Reflects Transparent Teal - sparkling white with turquoise
- Reflects Antique Gold - sparkling taupe

Tinted Lip Glass - A unique lip gloss available in a wide variety of colors that can create a high gloss glass-like finish or subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own, over Lip Pencil, or Lipstick.
- Icescape - sheer pale pink with pink pearl
- Snowscene - sheer white with multidimensional pearl
- Frozen Dream - sheer cool mid-tone pink with pink pearl
- Naked Frost - sheet taupe with silver pearl

I really like all the Tinted Lip Glasses expect for Naked Frost, they are at the top of my list for this collection. I also want to try the Penultimate Eye Liner and I want the Après-ski shadow just for the name. Suddenly this collection is giving me the urge to go to Aspen and celebrity watch. Could it be that I have actually found something in winter that I enjoy?!

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, December 20, 2008

MOP C-Straight

Ever since I was in high school, I have been straightening my curly hair. I don’t care what anyone tries to tell me, I will not wear it curly and I don’t care what they think that it would look like. I have gone back and forth between using shampoo and conditioner that begin the process in the shower and more natural products that hydrate and nourish. With my discovery of Phyto, I used chemical based products with straightening ingredients less and less. I have found that the products by Matrix are really great in starting the process but don’t hydrate well enough for me and usually leave some kind of build-up on my hair. I guess I will never be satisfied…why can’t I just have it all?!

The line Modern Organic Products (MOP) brings me the closest that I have gotten to bridging the gap between these two ideas. MOP is a hair care line that uses food to provide nourishment to the hair to bring it back to a natural state of health. The MOP line is simple and easy to follow since every line is color coded and anyone can find the products that they need for their hair.

The line that I have been trying is called C-Straight. This line includes a shampoo and conditioner, a styling cream, and a finishing cream. So far, I have bought all of the products but have only gotten to try the shampoo and the conditioner. The shampoo contains apple-derived amino acids to provide gentle cleansing and anti-oxidants to promote healthy looking hair. The conditioner contains plant-derived conditioning agents to counteract static. Silicones provides smoothness and gloss. Golden Barley proteins protect hair from environmental damage. Anti-oxidant rich formula incorporates citrus extracts to help hair look healthy. This is the half of the collection that I have tried.

One of the products that I haven’t tried is the straightening cream. This cream hydrates and contains silicone to help straighten hair. It also has anti-oxidant support and UV filters to protect hair from the environment. The shine lotion is the last step of the collection and its main feature is to enhance already straight hair. It contains humectants to block out frizz and contains the UV filters to protect from environmental damage. It also contains silicones to promote a healthy shine.

I can only comment on the shampoo and conditioner so far. Overall, this line is not the products that bridge a gap between natural products and straightening products. This shampoo and conditioner are more on the natural and hydrating side and have improved my hair and made it shiny. However, they pale in comparison to the Matrix products and don’t help with straightening in the least. I am beginning to think that this gap will never be bridged…

photo courtesy of Ulta

Friday, December 19, 2008

LUSH Ring of Roses Buttercream

Technically winter hasn’t even really begun yet and already my skin is tighter and drier than it has been in months. My skin is normally on the drier side to begin with but in the winter months, the skin on my body is so dry that I develop alligator patches all over and it hurts to move sometimes. How very attractive.

Every other year, I have tried to combat this problem with exfoliating and trying to moisturize after every shower. However it is the busiest time of the year for me, between the holidays and the end of the semester crunch so I don’t always have the time for a full routine. So I decided that I needed to change my routine in the shower instead of out of it. I have found that body washes that claim to be hydrating often do nothing to save my skin so I needed to find something else to use in there. I briefly considered trying some different bar soaps but I needed a quick solution and didn’t have the time or patience to purchase and try all different kinds before I find one that works for my skin.

I turned to the people at LUSH to try and find a product that would help me. Last summer, I bought myself a huge gift set from them and I really hadn’t opened it yet. I went through every thing in there and found a treasure. I found the Ring of Roses Buttercream soap. I was already attracted to this product because it has a rose scent, but I really didn’t know all that much about it. Buttercreams are a blend of 15% soap and 85% emollients. The 15% soap is just enough to cleanse but is not enough to produce the usual lather that is expected when using bar soap.
The first time that I tried it, I rubbed it all over a wash cloth and was rather disappointed with how much product that I ended up using to create just the littlest bit of lather. When I got out of the shower, my skin was slightly less tight feeling but it wasn’t very much of an improvement. I was rather unhappy and decided that I would just be using this product for the scent and would need to look elsewhere to find a product that would be hydrating enough.

The second day, I didn’t use the wash cloth and rubbed it right on my skin. It didn’t rinse as clean and didn’t foam up at all. However, my skin was much softer when I got out and stayed that way for the next few hours. After a week of use, my skin remained soft all day and now I am very happy with the product. I wish that it foamed up more but I know that then it wouldn’t be hydrating enough for my skin.

photo courtesy of LUSH

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Too Faced Mood Swing Lip Gloss

I don’t know about anyone else but when I was in middle school, I was obsessed with the return of mood rings. I had a bunch that I bought at jewelry stores and I also had some that I picked up at vintage stores. I would sit there in class and try to change my mood just so that I could watch the stone in the ring change colors. Imagine my disappointment when I was told that the ring changing colors had nothing to do with moods, it as based on the changes in body temperature that tend occur when people get upset, etc. I didn’t want to believe it but when I tested that theory by dunking the rings in different water temperatures I had to face the fact that temperature, not mood alone changed the rings.

Fast forward to now - I have no clue what happened to any of my rings and I wouldn’t be caught dead in one (even if it was made by Tiffany’s!). When browsing through Sephora one day, I saw something that brought it all back. It is a lip gloss that is supposed to act the same as mood rings. It is called Mood Swing Lip Gloss and it is from the Too Faced line of makeup. Sephora states that this is “a lip gloss that changes color on your lips depending on your body heat, pH balance and mood”. Hmmm…I need to know more!

This is official description from the Sephora website, “Our supernatural formulation starts off crystal clear and blossoms into countless shades of pink from cotton candy to deep fuchsia. Are you in love, jealous, angry, happy, or hot and bothered? Your lips will tell the tale and allow you to express yourself like never before! Mood Swing’s secret blend of essential oils and extracts improves elasticity and rejuvenates your lips while natural sunscreens insure a younger looking smile”. This product can be applied by itself or over another lip color. It also can be used on the entire lip or just in the middle of the bow.

At first, I really really wanted to try this product but then I began to think about it more. Do I really want my lip gloss changing every few minutes? I can just see it now, I’m talking to a friend or classmate and he/she is beginning to get on my nerves, I try to hide it but my lip gloss is telling a different story. Or what about getting the question, “Why is your lip gloss changing color by itself?” Or even, “What’s wrong? Your lip gloss is changing colors!” This could lead to many potential problems.

Kinda iffy about this product. I was ready to jump on the bandwagon but now I am beginning to think that this product could be more of a hassle then a fun extra to my collection.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, December 15, 2008

NARS No. 3 Brush

There are few things I own that I can’t live without. Most of the time I have found that I become obsessed with one product or another, only later to find another one equally fantastic or even better. I have a variety of makeup brushes that I have been suckered into when purchasing makeup. I am always thrilled with my purchase until I get home and open the brush up. Then I usually realize that I already own something very much like it or another brush that can do similar functions or even the exact same job. This is the point that I always get grumpy and swear to myself that I will never by another brush recommended to me by any makeup counter’s sales associate ever again. This usually lasts until the next time that I head to the MAC counter or to Sephora.

However, I have one brush that I use every single day and is completely worth every single cent that I paid for it. When I went to C.O. Bigelow, I had no intention of purchasing this brush and I actually ended up buying it as an afterthought with a NARS eye shadow purchase. The brush that I am talking about is the NARS No. 3 brush. It was used to apply eye shadow on me and I instantly fell in love with it. I was further convinced when the manager told me that this was her favorite eye shadow brush and the most versatile brush that she owned. She also used it everyday to apply her makeup, no matter what look she was going for. So I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. And yes, I had no idea that it was $55 when I said that I would buy it.

I got it home and put it in one of my stash containers and told myself that I would get it the next weekend and test it out. That was true in theory but not in practice, I never actually began using it until about 2 months later. Actually I had forgotten that I even had the brush. I found it when looking for something else and decided that it was a waste of money to just have it sitting in there unused.

I tried it, loved it, and now cannot do my eye makeup without it. The brush is actually called the Eye Shader Brush and is used to provide a smooth eye makeup application and blending. Sephora’s website said that this soft, gentle brush is perfect for applying lighter shades and for blending. I have used this brush to apply pale, shimmery shades (my favorites) and for blending smoky eye looks. The only time that I don’t use it is to apply Vincent Longo Wet Diamond Eye Shadows because they contain so much shimmer that I need to use my fingers so that the shadow is not spread all over my face.

I love this brush so much and I will simply die if it breaks or if I lose it!

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, December 14, 2008

MAC Monogram

Time for the second new MAC collection since the beginning of this month. This collection is called Monogram. This line seems to be higher quality product and packaging than the average MAC products and other collections. Makes me wonder if they are trying to go more in the direction of Chanel and Dior with their products.

The official description from MAC is right here - “Your personal statement of the Holiday season. A collection of such creamy, high-prestige shades and luxurious fragrance, they make their own distinguished look and marq ue. In the fashionable world, this is the only signature you need…”

The collection…

Monogram Lipstick - Exclusive to the Monogram Collection. Luxuriously smooth to apply a medium buildable finish. Brings an opulent satiny shine to the lip. High-comfort.
- Status Symbol - warm mid-tone reddish brown with pearl
- Marque - soft, light neutral pink
- All Mine - creamy mid-tone blue pink
- Flourish - frosty mid-tone red

Monogram Lip Gloss - Exclusive to the Monogram Collection. Provides a slick shine with high-comfort wear. Lips feel soft and look lustrous.
- Melodramatic - bronzy brown with gold pearl
- Distinguished - sheer yellow beige with gold pearl
- Identity - pale baby pink with gold pearl
- Posh Life - mid-tone bright pink with gold pearl

Monogram Sheerspark Pressed Powder - Exclusive to the Monogram Collection. Produces an ultra-refined spark and shimmer wherever its applied - cheek or eye.
- Old English - frosted light bronze with gold pearl
- Personal Touch - frosted light peach with pink pearl
- Keepsake - frosted pale pink with gold pearl
- Commemorate - frosted pale gold with gold pearl

Monogram Sheer Mystery Powder - Exclusive to the Monogram Collection. Ultra-fine, this pressed powder creates an intriguing velvety-matte, slightly luminous, flawless finish.
- Light Medium
- Medium Plus
- Dark Secret

129 Monogram Special Edition Brush - 129 Face Brush is the signature gold finish of the Monogram Collection. Features an ultra soft brush head for a luxurious application experience.

225 Monogram Special Edition Brush - 224 Eye Brush is the signature gold finish of the Monogram Collection. Features an ultra soft brush head for a luxurious application experience.

Monogram Fragrance Set - A rare set of two limited-edition Air of Style fragrances beautifully nestled in a metallic faux patent pouch featuring the circular MAC monogram. Warm, intoxicating, baroque, and sensual in its scent.

Monogram Clutch - A versatile, high shine vinyl clutch to use a makeup bag or fashion accessory. Sophisticated and stylish.

Hmmmm…I’m not quite sure how I feel on this collection. The packaging is beautiful but packaging doesn’t make the product (Ahem…Christian Dior ::coughs:: ) I decided to go through some of the reviews in Makeupalley’s product reviews section. The reviews are rather mixed with the exception of the Sheerspark eye and cheek powder, the negative reviews definitely are the majority here. Overall, several users have stated that it is too glittery and contains little to no pigment. Also, they state that the product itself is too dry and the best part of the product is the packaging. Think I will be passing on this product and maybe on the whole collection.

photo courtesy of MAC

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cleanse Your Soul Pink Fairy Frosting

For the last few weeks, I have remained rather loyal to one fragrance of body products in my ultra-large stash. That scent is called Pink Fairy Frosting from Cleanse Your Soul and is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. We all know that I love Pink Sugar scents and dupes for a huge majority of my body products. Also, I am rather critical of Pink Sugar scents since there are so many to choose from.

Pink Fairy Frosting is a mixture of two of my favorites kinds of scents; Pink Sugar and sugary sweet frosting. Really, its double the tooth aching sweetness of many of my other products (just the way that I like it!). The Cleanse Your Soul website lists the scent as a mixture of Pink Sugar and vanilla frosting. I have this product in shower gel, sugar scrub and body butter and I love all of them. I do think that my favorite product is the sugar scrub. Why? When I ordered it, I asked Judy (owner of the company) to color the scrub bright pink. So not only does it smell great, I feel super girly and cute when I use bright pink body products. The sugar scrub foams up, is non-greasy, rinses clean of the skin. The shower gel is fair. It doesn’t foam up as well as some other brands do but Judy doesn’t have access to the all the foam creating chemicals that a Bath and Body Works would. So the less amount of foam and lather is better for my dry winter skin. The body butter is thick and hydrating while still easy to work into the skin.

I am actually kind of sad that I using through these products so quickly because I very much in love with this scent and these products. Looks like I will be making another order pretty soon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2008 Collection

I am almost done with writing about the Holiday makeup collections…but not quite! I still have a few more left and among them is Bobbi Brown. I have never used Bobbi Brown before, but every time that I passed her counter in Bloomingdales, my eyes grew to the size of saucers and I couldn’t help but gaze in wonder at everything that she offered. This collection is called “The Party Collection” (how original!) and here is the description from Bobbi Brown herself, “It’s about having fun with makeup, high color, high shimmer, and a bit of pizzazz”. Here’s Holiday…

Glitter Lip Gloss (LE) - Add a festive touch to your look this season with Bobbi’s new, limited-edition shades of glitter lip gloss, featured in the Party Collection. Infused with light-reflecting flecks of glitter, this gloss gives lips a high sine and high shimmer that’s perfect for any party or evening soiree.
- Ball
- Martini
- Soiree Pink
- Disco Pink
- Rave
- Velvet Rope

Everything & Lash Glamour Mascara Duo (LE) - A must-have for anyone who loves the look and drama of false lashes. This limited-edition, dual-ended mascara features best-selling Everything Mascara to lengthen, thicken, and define lashes and waterproof Lash Glamour Lengthening Mascara to super-lengthen, define, and curl lashes.
- Black
- Brown

Metallic Eye Shadow - Bobbi’s Metallic Eye Shadows are back by popular demand and are now a permanent part of the line. This collection features a broad shade range including rich bold colors and pastels. High-shimmer, high-pigment formula creates a sexy and sophisticated look. Color applies smoothly and evenly and stays crease-free, for all day wear.
- After Hours
- Bash
- Bonfire
- Bronze Pink
- Brown Stone
- Burnt Sugar
- Champagne Quartz
- Cognac
- Forest
- Glitz
- Gold Dust
- Golden Peach
- Iced Blue
- Indigo Nights
- Java
- Lavender
- Midnight
- Mint
- Navajo
- Peony
- Pink Chandelier
- Pink Pearl
- Rock star
- Sage
- Velvet Plum

Lip Gloss Trio (LE)- Bobbi’s Lip Gloss Trio returns this season - and is better than ever. Tucked inside a golden-copper faux leather case, you’ll find three beautiful shades of gloss; a medium golden pink, a pale glittering pink, and a pink beige with gold shimmer.

Long-Wear Eye Palette (LE)- This palette is tailor made for anyone who wants eye makeup that’s long-wearing and smudge resistant. Features new and popular shades of the best-selling Long-Wear Cream Eye Shadow, a soft velvety formula that doesn’t crease and Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, a gel based formula that can be used to create subtle to dramatic looks.
- Moon Rock Palette - Gold Drop Long-Wear Cream Shadow, Mineral Dust Long-Wear Cream Shadow, Espresso Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Black Topaz Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
- Night Sky Palette - Rock Star Long-Wear Cream Shadow, Ocean Storm Long-Wear Cream Shadow, Black Ink Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, Thunderstorm Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

Sunset Gold Collection (Nordstrom Exclusive) - Add a little sparkle to your look this holiday season with this limited-edition collection featuring festive accents for eyes and lips. Includes new and exclusive high-shimmer Metallic Eye Shadow in Sunset Gold and Antique Gold, Glitter Lip Gloss in Bronze Pink, and a Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Mahogany Ink in a golden-copper faux leather mini organizer.

Lip & Eye Palette (LE)- This season, it’s all about adding a special touch to your look - and Bobbi’s making it easy with her Lip & Eye Palette. This limited-edition, double-decker palette includes new and exclusive shades of high-shimmer Metallic Eye Shadow and comfortable long-wearing Creamy Lip Color: Berry Mauve, Pink Sequin, Dusty Mauve (exclusive) and Ruby (new and exclusive) Creamy Lip Colors; Champagne Quartz, gold Dust, Golden Bronze (new and exclusive), Galaxy (new and exclusive) Metallic Eye Shadows.

Also, with this collection, Nordstrom suggests the brushes and compacts that could be purchased with these products to help create the look that Bobbi was going for when she created the collection. But really, when looking at pretty new makeup, who goes out and buys all the brushes that they recommend with it? I have my core supply of brushes from Laura Mercier, MAC, NARS, Urban Decay, and Origins and really don’t go out of my way to buy every brush that is used on. But I digress…I want the Metallic Eye Shadows and the Long-Wear Eye Palette really badly. I also will be obsessed with the Lip Gloss Trio until I can lay my hands on it. Time to head back to Bloomingdales and do more than just gaze…
photo courtesy of Nordstrom

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Mascara Number 1 - Smashbox Bionic Mascara

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that I had decided to try a bunch of the new mascaras that came out last fall. I am over a month into the use of the first one so I can now begin my reviews of the products that I purchased and put to the test. The first mascara that I decided to get was Smashbox Bionic Mascara. I wasn’t really feeling this mascara when I first tried it but I kept using it in hopes that I would warm up to it. Also, I had just come off of finishing Cargo Texas Lash, which we all know that I really liked so this formula left me with double disappointment, that it wasn’t Texas Lash and that I didn’t really like it at all. So here are the my thoughts on this product.

Sephora’s website gives this description of the product, “Smashbox Bionic is the first ionic mascara - it will leave you with longer, stronger, and more voluminous lashes! This specially engineered brush coats lashes with our revolutionary long-wearing, water-resistant formula for a dramatic full lash. Aloe, silk, and wheat proteins strengthen and condition.” So this formula is both a treatment product and a cosmetic in one little package. I don’t really know how well it treated my lashes, I haven’t noticed much of a difference in them from before use of this product. I was under the impression that this was supposed to make my lashes huge and now I am beginning to wonder where I got that info from. I feel like I saw an ad for this product in a magazine and Smashbox itself promoted this mascara as providing major volume. Well, whatever the case may be, it didn’t provide the mass amounts of size that it takes to make me happy (WOW, that sounded really bad!). The brush is smaller than what I am used to so already this product was at a disadvantage compared to BadGal and Texas Lash. The brush is stiff instead of soft and I found that I did like that aspect of it. The formula didn’t clump at all even when I was applying multiple coats (trust me, I needed multiple coats of this stuff). Even after two coats, my lashes just looked dark and defined, not full and fat. Big letdown.

However the worse part of this mascara is that it smears all of the place and by the end of the day, I usually look like I have raccoon eyes. Now being that it smears all over the place, you would think that removal would now be difficult. Of course not! It is very hard to remove and impossible to remove 100%, the next morning I always wake up with more underneath my eyes no matter how well I thought that I got it off the night before. Nothing for sensitive skin, sensitive eyes, or a more natural product would have any prayers of removing this stuff.
Mascara 1 = failure.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Monday, December 8, 2008

MAC Metal Urge

I think it has been an entire month since I have discussed anything MAC related, so of course it is time that they have released a new collection and I need to discuss it on here. They are still releasing products for Holiday and we are still over 2 months away from the highly anticipated Hello Kitty collection release. To get us poor MAC obsessed folk through until the release, they are releasing small collections to continue to whet our appetite for their products.

This collection is called Metal Urge and the following is the official description from MAC, “A rich new vein of rare-earth inspired shine and shadow is ready to be mined. Enhance your precious worth with Brushed Metal-X Eye Shadow. Excavate the depths of new and bring-back shades of Pigment, Reflects Glitter, and Liquidlast Liner. Give in to the urge…”

Brushed Metal-X - A luxurious cream-based Eye Shadow that combines a bold, brushed metallic finish with high-impact color.
- Glided Ash - dark charcoal gray with pearl
- Gold Spice - metallic coppery gold
- Forged Rose - reddish copper with gold pearl
- Verdigris - dirty deep green with silver pearl
- Metalblu - navy blue with silver pearl
- Pink Platinum - light blue/pink with silver pearl
- Material Gold - pale peach/beige with gold pearl

Pigment - Pigment is a highly concentrated loose color powder that contains ingredients to help it adhere to the skin.
- Cocomotion - dirty gold with an olive undertone with gold sparkle
- Spiritualize - yellow green with silver and gold pearl
- Gold Mode - tan gold

Glitter - MAC Glitter can be applied directly to the skin or combined with products to create high-level glitter and sparkle effects on all areas of the face, skin, and hair.
- Reflects Bronze - sparkling rich gold
- Reflects Blackened Red - sparkling burgundy
- Reflects Purple Duo - sparkling rich purple
- Reflects Very Pink - sparkling fuchsia pink

Liquidlast Liner - A rich color liquid eyeliner that combines long-lasting wear with a non-smudge, non-flake precision line.
- Dress Khaki - khaki green with yellow pearl
- Molten Sol - rich gold with intense metallic
- Powerplum - deep plum with red pearl
- Inkspill - deep green with green pearl
- Inky - navy blue with low-level pearl
- Visionaire - clean baby pink
- Classic Cream - white gold

210 Precise Eye Liner Brush - Graphically precise with a finely pointed, tapered tip. Provides a controlled, ultra-fine application of any powder, liquid, or cream-based eyeliner.

217 Blending Brush - For shading or blending of color or creamy products. This brush has fine, densely pack fibers that are arranged in an oval shape.

272 Small Angled Shader Brush - To apply and/or blend eye shadow. Medium firm paddle shaped brush with fluffy angled tip. Best for powder eye shadows.

I might want to try some of the cream-based eye shadows from this collection even though I have never really had luck with cream shadows. Also, the Liquidlast liners look like they would create a beautiful eye look but I am a klutz with liquid liner. Maybe one of the MAC associates could help me make one of these work because I might fall in love with some of these, especially Molten Sol. This gold shade looks like it would be a more intense version of my beloved UD 24/7 Pencil in Honey. This is worth investigation.

photo courtesy of MAC

Sunday, December 7, 2008

YSL Holiday 2008 Collection

In many of the major runway shows this fall, the fashion world has been returning to the concept of menswear as womenswear. Vest and bow ties are huge so it only made sense that several months later, beauty companies would soon pick up on this trend. The first major one that has embraced this concept is Yves Saint Laurent. The Holiday 2008 Collection is men inspired beauty at its finest. The collection even features many of its products in bow tie looking containers. The model for this look is has both strong eye and lip color on, so this look may be a bit on the extreme side for the more timid among us but there will be many women ready to give it a go!

Onward into the collection…

- Holiday Set - This season, YSL offers their signature YSL black tuxedo pouch filled with Radiance Essentials; a Touche Éclat No. 1, Golden Gloss No.1, mini Luxurious Mascara No.1, and a mini YSL Elle EDP.

- Multi-Use Makeup Palette - An elegant black velvet pouch that can be used as a clutch bag, to carry one’s personal things, or as a luxurious makeup palette to take anywhere. The beautiful bow in black satin gives it fashion allure and sophistication. This multi-use palette contains two eye shadows in metallic blue and deep black, a pearly beige highlighter, a fuchsia pink matte lipstick, a transparent glittery lip gloss, and two applicators.

- Flash Radiance Skincare Brush - With a single brush stroke, signs of fatigue are erased and skin is left feeling velvety smooth and fresh with radiance! This high performance formula combines all the benefits of a skincare product with the precision and ease of a brush, the silky and comfortable texture glides over the skin, leaving it feeling incredibly fresh and invigorated. A blend of energizing active ingredients combine the Grain of Paradise extract with caffeine to erase signs of fatigue. On the skin’s surface, light reflecting micro-pigments are able to capture and diffuse light, to reduce skin imperfections and boost radiance. A seaweed derived sugar forms a veil that maintains moisture on the surface of the skin and protects it from external threats. Wheat proteins combined with sugar extracted from oats and a silicon elastomer allow for the formula to quickly smooth fine lines, leaving it soft and velvety. (WOW is that all?!)

- Touche D’Or - This frosted gold highlighter pen-brush delivers, in a single click, a fresh and evanescent texture with gold sparkles. Delicately blended on top of the cheekbones, the eyelids, the center of the lips, or the décolleté, it beautifies your face, highlighting it with soft touches of gold.

- 4 Colour Eye Shadow - An engraved bow adorns this palette of four eye shadows which reinvent the smoky eye in golden plum and rosy gray tones. Applied together, these four shades offer the most sensual and irresistible look.

- Pure Lipstick - Lip colour and care in one, Rouge Pur stays fresh for hours while ensuring hydration and protection to the lips. Honey Beige is the newest colour offered for this holiday season.

- Shimmering Lip Gloss - Dress your lips in a shimmering veil of Golden Gloss. The gloss forms mirror-effect on the lips with sparkles with mother of pearl. A complex of nourishing oils (Nigelle and Cameline oils) protect the lips while providing total comfort. This gloss contains 0.2 % of 24 carat gold to enhance the shimmer on the lips. Golden Burgundy is the newest offered for the holiday season.

- Duo Lip Colour Palette - This precious bow, inspired from the famous “Bow” bag, reveals two exquisite textures for irresistible lips; an intense raspberry lipstick and sparkling pink gloss infused with blue highlights to be worn alone or on top of the lipstick. Attached to the handbag, belt, or key ring, it becomes the perfect fashion accessory.

- Long Lasting Nail Lacquer - A nail lacquer that is both elegant and practical in its elongated glass bottle. Available in an incredible palette of shades, from the most natural to the brightest, it guarantees reinforced hold, wonderful shine, fast drying, and protected nails. Dark Blue and Moonlight White are the two newest shades for this holiday collection.

I have never tried any of the makeup from YSL but right now (if all claims that this product makes are true), I really want to try the Flash Radiance Skincare Brush. It almost seems too good to be true. I’m not really sure about the products that have gold infused in them, I don’t think that they would work with my cold toned complexion. I feel that they have the potential to be beautiful for other women but not for me.

photo courtesy of YSL

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tom Ford White Patchouli

Tom Ford has been one of my loves ever since I first heard of him when he started designing for Gucci (that was years ago) so I had to smell his new scent White Patchouli. Thoughts of patchouli make me think of head shops and dirty hippies, so I really wasn’t all that interested in this scent but I heard many good things about it on other blogs and on Makeup Alley. In other words, I was told that it didn’t smell like the traditional patchouli and was very well imagined by Ford. So with trepidation, I decided to give it a try at Sephora.

My first thought was that it is really light when applied and the reviews were correct in that it didn’t smell like a strong whiff of head shop. It smelled semi floral but even I was not that into the scent of it and normally, I love anything floral. I was just rather “meh” on the scent but I was happy that it didn’t reek of hippies.

I couldn’t really get many of the individual notes out of this when I tried it on so I decided to get on the Sephora site later on and see what they said about it. Here is their description, “With it sensuous core of patchouli, Tom Ford White Patchouli perfectly captures the myth of its generation. Sleek woods blend with the essence of elegant white flowers to create this modern retro-class fragrance that embodies a sophisticated interpretation of bohemian chic. Citrus and coriander top notes capture attention with their sleek freshness and unfold into a floral trio, revealing intoxicating jasmine, refined muguet, and sensual rose absolute. An alluring base of patchouli oprur delivers rich depth and mingles with tempering sandalwood, rich incense, and golden amber for a compelling, seductive appeal.” To follow this up, here are the notes also - peony, mandarin, bergamot, jasmine, rose absolute, coriander, amberette seed, sandalwood, incense, golden amber.

I am rather surprised to see rose listed as one of the notes in this fragrance because I normally love rose fragrances and they are strong smelling on my skin. But it also is not a dominant note in this fragrance and the patchouli and incense seem to take over for me. Also, I am not bohemian chic in any way, shape, or form. This may just not be a fragrance for me. However, this did make me smell Black Orchid at the same time to compare them and we may have a winner with that scent…

photo courtesy of Sephora

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Guerlain Holiday 2008 Collection

Oh Parisian makeup lines, how I love you so! Your mysterious accent and elusive glamour that a lady in the United States can only hope to achieve. At least in this country, we do have access to some fantastic makeup lines that give us hope in order to achieve this ideal. The Holiday Collection this year from Guerlain reminds of a beautiful French women crossed with a wood nymph. Bright, elusive, ethereal. Dear readers, you are right in thinking that perhaps I have lost my mind over this collection, I have never waxed this poetic before, I feel like a magazine ad! But this collection is amazing and beautiful and a stand out among everything else that has been released so far this holiday. And yes, it stands out for me as much or more than NARS, so we know this one is very special.

The collection is called Midnight Butterfly. The official description from Guerlain is right here, “Radiant, the butterfly woman prepares herself for a night out. Her skin, transformed by iridescent powder, is sensual and velvety smooth like a Midnight Butterfly. What else would her elegant clutch bag contain but an essential KissKiss lipstick and Meteorites powder compact? The sun sets and the party begins.”

Here’s the collection…

KissKiss Lipstick
- 514 Delicate Butterfly - a delicate pearly white, perfect for adding the finishing touches to subtle makeup look
- 515 Dazzling Butterfly - sophisticated pink, produces an instantly healthy glow

KissKiss Gloss
- 802 Charming Butterfly - a stunning pink creating a multitude of effects. deceptively innocent
- 803 Intriguing Butterfly - a violet that shimmers mysteriously. Deceptively provocative.

Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara
- Butterfly Sparkle - blue lashes turn to violet in the blink of an eye. The large brushes accentuates the longest lashes with a deep black coat, whilst the mini-brush adds extra impact to create optical illusions. The colour transformation is very real thanks to the product’s sparkling pearl-gel formula, which creates variable effects.

Meteorites Butterfly Pearls - small, exquisite powder pearls that are meant to smoothed over the neck and decollate and are now available in a powder compact version. Available in soft pearly beige and pink shades, these new maxi pearls are twice as desirable. The lid of the box is adorned with the collection’s signature butterfly.
- Meteorites Voyage

Radiant Butterfly - compact powder for the face. When the pearls transform themselves, they metamorphose into beige and pink butterflies to fit inside bags, makeup bags, and pockets. They are pressed into a pearly pink travel compact wherever you are and at any time. A delicate powdery and subtle pearl glow illuminates the skin.
- Sublime Radiance Powder

Midnight Butterfly - the timeless refinement of this elegant powder spray into a perfume type bottle. The atomizer is decorated with a luxurious butterfly that can be clipped onto your handbag or the neckline of your dress. Delicate, soft, light, smooth, luscious, evanescent…There are scarcely enough adjectives to describe this innovative powder. Its secret lies in its silicon pearl that leaves the skin peachy soft, smooth, velvety and radiant. The ultimate aid to seduction, Midnight Butterfly can be sprayed onto the face, body (does not stain clothes), and hair. Let the fun begin. A powder delicately scented with violet reminding us of Guerlain’s signature powders. A fragrance trail that is unique, sophisticated, and instantly recognizable.

Ombre Eclat 4 Couleurs
- Mysterious Butterfly - creates enigmatic, sublime, and sensual eyes. Inspired by the powdery shades of the wings a rare butterfly, this new palette of eye shadows contains four, unique vibrant shades (white, mauve, soft pink, and violet) from the famous Guerlain Ombre Eclat 4 shades box. A lucky butterfly spreads it wings among the powders leaving its subtle silvery pearl stamp against the backdrop of color.

I had to copy the above descriptions right from the Guerlain website because I could find no more beautiful way to describe this collection than what they have provided for the public. AND WOWOW!!! This collection is both unique and amazing. Many times, I use the word “unique” to describe something that is not beautiful but I don’t really want to call it ugly. However this collection is one in a million. This is the only holiday collection that I have seen that doesn’t contain red lipstick or black eyeliner. I want it all!

photo courtesy of Guerlain

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Most Wanted December 2008

Right now, we are in the apex of the holiday season, so now it is time to snap up all the beautiful new makeup before we head into the boring doldrums of winter. In this list, I have began to look forward to the spring season by starting to look for some scents that I will be putting away until then. I usually stop buying anything fall or winter right after Christmas because with my giant stash it most likely won’t get used until next winter and by then, who knows if I will be into it anymore. With all this in mind, here is my most wanted items for December.

- NARS All Night Long Lip Gloss
- Laura Mercier Eye Colour in Pewter
- Lipstick Queen in Medieval
- Shu Uemura Palette in Secret Luscious Rose
- Annick Goutal Petite Cherie Perfumed Shower Oil
- Givenchy Pop Gloss in Rose by Night
- Island Michael Kors Bermuda
- NARS Single Eye Shadow in Silent Night
- Fekkai Ageless Crème Luxe Hair Treatment
- Tom Ford Black Orchid

Yes, I want another Island Michael Kors fragrance. I haven’t been able to smell this one on myself yet, I have only gotten to smell it in a magazine. I have heard that it has more woody base notes in it than any of the others, so it is supposed to work in the fall and winter too. We shall see after I try this one out. In either case, I like the fragrance when I smelled it in the magazine so I will purchasing it and wearing it in some season coming up.